Council Post: How To Market Your Business Without Third-Party Cookies

By Seth Rand, the Co-Founder and CEO of Wizard Digital Marketing.

The year 2020 brought a lot of changes to our lives, both personal and professional. Consumers flocked to the digital shelves of e-commerce websites instead of physical shelves in stores. Online shopping saw a 44% increase from 2019 to 2020, and it brought along with it a wealth of consumer data.

While consumers have come to expect brands to provide personalized messages in their advertisements, their concerns about their data privacy have only grown as they shifted to digital shopping habits. In the meantime, brands will need to find creative ways to market their products and services with less consumer data.

Reviewing the data privacy changes.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, the California Consumer Privacy Act and other regional regulations continue to put constraints on how companies can market using consumer data. The most recent change being Apple’s new privacy update requiring users to opt in to provide identifiable data to applications they use.

The most recent privacy data change announced by Google is the phased removal of third-party cookies from Google Chrome by 2022. However, Google is working on alternatives to help advertisers still reach the audience they want in ways that are less invasive to consumers. Apple, the maker of web browser Safari, as well as FireFox have already cut the use of third-party cookies, but both are also working to develop solutions to aid marketers while still protecting their users’ privacy.

What will replace third-party cookies?

The questions that remain unanswered are how the three solutions will differ and when they will be ready to implement. What we know currently about Google’s proposed solution is that they want to create something akin to a data container that allows advertisers to pick information, but the data allowed would be dictated by the browser. Alternatively, Apple is proposing an API that would allow websites to track conversions.

However, the two companies cannot agree on how much data should be allowed to advertisers. These ideas are still being developed. The cookies were not originally intended to contain and share as much information as they currently do, so finding a proper solution will take some time.  

The shift in advertising due to privacy concerns.

Throughout the years, businesses have adapted their marketing plans as needed, as new platforms and social media channels have been released. While the data privacy changes seem to be suggesting that advertisers take a step backward from the personalization that they have been striving for, there are a few things that can be done to keep the messaging on the right track.

The key is focusing on what your brand stands for and then applying digital marketing principles that meet the new privacy guidelines to get your message out to consumers.

Determine your brand’s “why.” Why does your brand exist? What solution do you solve? Use the answers to the question to create actionable tactics that all tie back to the “why.”

Get acquainted with the new privacy rules to ensure your marketing tactics are not in violation. Use the data you do have as a guide and overlay human insight to maintain a personal aspect of the messaging.

Create content that is impactful and use channels to distribute the content that reaches a mass audience at a higher frequency. The key is to choose channels that will reach your desired audience without violating the data privacy laws.

The one thing we can count on in marketing is that there will always be changes. We need to be ready to pivot and adapt to these changes as they happen. Make sure your business stays on top of the latest data privacy changes so you can succeed as the marketing landscape continues to change.

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